Seamless Lighting: The Integrated Plaster-in Lighting Revolution

Never mind the expression ‘nothing new under the sun’, in many ways there is a nothing new under the ‘ceiling’ either. In the instance of trimless downlights, we owe a great deal to art deco and modernist designers who were first to integrate lights into the fabric of an interior. The sweeping curves and the stark simplicity were often punctuated with light using early versions of directional luminaires.

The advent of LED has promoted the possibilities of working with downlights & wall lights in a seamless fashion. Lack of heat and longevity of LED fittings all favour the use of integrated lights into modern ceilings. Trimless integrated lights are increasingly all the rage for these projects currently and there are plenty of options and models to choose from – let’s look at the application of these fittings in your future schemes.

Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut as a forerunner to modern trimless lighting

Punctuating with light can become a major feature of an interior design. Although an example of using natural light, I have been inspired by Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut Chapel in Ronchamp as a dramatic demonstration of how the windows are used to paint with light in the interior and how effectively it shapes the space inside. I can envisage similar effects with niches using artificial light to similarly structure a room.

Trimless Lighting in Interiors

Trimless LED fittings are the luminaire of choice in more contemporary schemes. Making the light sources at one with the walls and ceilings in this seamless way allows the architect or designer to compose all the surface elements as an ensemble. It removes one more element from a scheme to simplify and clearly indicates to the eye – what is important.

plaster-in trimless downlights for a contemporary kitchen

What is a Trimless Lighting Fitting?

A trimless fitting is a light fixture that sits within the wall or ceiling without a trace of being fixed in place. A flush solution that allows the light to become an architecturally integrated element.

How Does Plaster-in Lighting Work?

For a fixture to look seamless, a housing for the light source is plastered into place at first fix. It then becomes part of the wall/ceiling. After the messy bit is over, at 2nd fix the internal part of the light is fitted.

Tips on using Integrated LED Lighting

Glare is greatly reduced as some trimless fittings will raise the light source deep within the ceiling.

Some fittings have a choice of trimless fixing or a second fix bezel – the trim. The light fixture remains the same except the trimless version location has to be decided upon at 1ST FIX and is NOT moveable later in the project.

trimless lighting before and after plastering in

Popular trimless fittings are floor and stair washers where a number are run in a row. A group of fittings are usually wired in SERIES, meaning the power supply (driver) is remote and the wiring daisy chains to each fixture and terminates back at the driver. This is useful when installing into solid walls with nowhere to position a driver.

Some models offer a particular frame according to whether it’s being fitted into brick or plasterboard, so be sure of the material they are being fitted into.

Do you always have to completely re-plaster a wall or ceiling when using a trimless lighting product?

No, there is a range of trimless downlight that is installed at 2nd fix and ‘feathered’ into place with fine plaster filler. It’s not as easy to install but is a helpful option when trying to get the look without the added expense of more plastering.

Seamless Lighting – Pro’s & Con’s of Trimless Lighting



Talk to us if you have a hankering for trimless light fixtures in your next project. We will be happy to walk through your project and suggest the most appropriate products for the installation.

For more and a video demonstrating a seamless light: Trimless Recessed Lighting Fully Explained: How, What and Tips.

Andrew Orange, the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.